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The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club Salutes Golf History

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The Hastings club presents a new exhibit highlighting its place in the history of golf in Westchester County and America.

The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club in Hastings has unveiled a new exhibit for the clubhouse lobby documenting the club’s prominent place in golf’s early history. The exhibit, nearly two years in the making, features key historical documents, photographs, invitations, and more charting the Club’s early milestones, beginning in 1888 when The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club was founded in Yonkers. The minutes from that founding meeting, held at the home of John Reid, lead off the exhibit.

Attending the exhibit’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 17 were dignitaries including Archie Reid, great grandson of founder John Reid, Mrs. Karen Reid, and their son, John Reid.

Among the highlights of the club’s history is the first-ever U.S. National Amateur Match Play Championship, which was played in October 1894 on the Saint Andrew’s Grey Oaks Golf Course in Yonkers. The day after that event ended, the Club again made history by hosting the first U.S. Open Championship. An original Currier & Ives print depicting the Saint Andrew’s U.S. Amateur Championship is included in the display as is the invitation to participate in the competition which was sent to golf clubs across the country in the summer of 1894.

That first U.S. Open Championship, conducted at match play, was won by Shinnecock Hills Professional Willie B. Dunn, who proudly wore the Saint Andrew’s U.S. Open medal throughout his lifetime, and was said to have even been buried with it. A photo of the champion wearing the medal is included in the new exhibit, courtesy of the London Scottish Club.

From left to right: Club Curator Brian Siplo, Historical Committee Chair Bruce Clark, Club President Vikram Atal, Archie Reid, John Reid, Historical Committee Member Rick Powers Photo courtesy of The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club

“This marks the first time, within one formal display, that we have captured the leading role The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club played in the early history of golf,” remarks Vik Atal, Club President. “It depicts one leadership accomplishment after another throughout this most formative decade in the history of American golf.”

During the unveiling of the exhibit, Bruce Clark, Chair of the Club’s Historical Committee, explained the role Henry O. Tallmadge, founding Secretary of the Club, played in the creation of the United States Golf Association. Shortly after the tournaments in October 1894, Tallmadge invited four other prominent American golf clubs—Chicago Golf Club, Newport Country Club, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, and The Country Club of Brookline—to join with the Saint Andrew’s Golf Club in forming the USGA. 

“Not only are we proud to be recognized as America’s oldest golf club and founding member of the USGA, but we are also proud of the leadership role Saint Andrew’s played in so many important ways during the formative years of the game of golf in this country,” says Clark. “The pieces we have chosen to display as part of this exhibit were carefully selected to illustrate our very rich history and contribute in a meaningful way to telling the complete story.”

“We are indebted to the London Scottish Club and many other individuals and organizations who collectively helped us with the exhibit contents,” says Rick Powers, a member of the Club’s Historical Committee. “This display is the proud accomplishment of a large team of people who have worked together carefully and thoughtfully for the better part of two years.”

 The exhibit pays tribute to several other notable “firsts” recorded by The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club: the first mixed foursome match in 1889; organization and funding of the first U.S. Public Links Championship in 1896; and Saint Andrew’s member Charles E. Sands’ victory in the first Men’s Golf competition at the Paris Olympic Games in 1900. Sands remains America’s only Men’s Olympic Golf Champion.